Climate Matters

We regret that the 8th December event (below) had to be postponed until 2022. You can still contact Learn Devon on the number on the poster, or email us on, to register interest. This will help inform the rearranged date, which will be announced in our newsletter.

Meanwhile, here are some useful sources on the topic:

Top tips for conversations about climate change.

Principles for choosing images and an image library.

Rural attitudes to climate change – aimed at councillors, but of wider interest.

Recorded webinar (57 min, Oct 2021) Britain talks COP 26 – Engaging UK audiences.

Climate change: stories that motivate (8th December 2021)

We’re delighted to work with Learn Devon to offer another session on communicating climate change. (Course Code WBB610) It’s for anyone trying to encourage responses to the climate and nature crises. Drawing on research by Climate Outreach, the evening workshop, at Tavistock’s Alexander Centre, looks at how to connect to people’s values in choosing pictures and in conversation. Spoiler: probably not through polar bears.

While the approach is similar to our workshops in early 2020, it uses updated materials and the context has moved on, so repeat attendees welcome. Free, but prior booking required. See poster below or this link. The poster can also be downloaded as a pdf.

Devon Climate Emergency – keep up with plans and events

We commend the way public, private and voluntary sector are working across Devon to look at how the county can address the causes of climate change and mitigate the local impacts. Keep in touch with the latest state of the planning, or join in free webinars on key topics, by signing up for the Devon Carbon Emergency Newsletter.

Transition Tavistock held an online discussion of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, and tips for responding to it, on 27th January 2021. See a summary note and the slides we used.

Committee on Climate Change report 2020

The statutory Committee on Climate Change holds government to account for progress on tackling climate change. Following publication of its 2020 report, Transition Tavistock wrote to Tavistock’s MP, Geoffrey Cox, to urge attention to its recommendations. We picked out three of particular relevance to this area, and asked him to contact the relevant ministers. The letter is here. (Note: Transition Tavistock is not aligned to any political party.)

Talking about climate change in 2020 – see our new course below.

UPDATE Due to COVID-19 our 4 week Spring 2020 course on climate change communication paused after Week 1. Those who enrolled on it will be informed by Learn Devon if it resumes.

Meanwhile, here are suggestions for home study on the topic.

Climate Change – the Communication Challenge – 2020 course 

Continuing our partnership with Learn Devon we are offering two courses at Tavistock’s Alexander Centre in spring 2020, drawing on the latest research based guidance from Climate Outreach.  It will cover principles about effective communication on climate change, in conversation, images and writing.

This time the full course will last 4 weeks, on Wednesday evenings, allowing more time for discussion and practical case studies relevant to participants, but we have added a stand-alone workshop for those with packed diaries or who want a “taster” before committing more time.

The course is for anyone who wants to encourage others to act in response to climate change. For example:
• You know climate change matters, but find it hard to share your concerns with friends or colleagues?
• You can see ways your workplace or community group could respond – but have to persuade them?
• You are trying to market activities or products which help people move to a lower carbon lifestyle?
• You want to use democracy or consumer power to get practical change?

Details are:

Single workshop:

Saturday 1st Feb 10.30am to 12.30pm  code WB9616 (now full, try WB9617)
repeated Wednesday 5th Feb 7pm to 9pm code WB9617

Four-week course: 
Wednesdays 11th March to 1st April, 7pm – 9pm, course code WB9618

Climate Change – the Communication Challenge

In partnership with Learn Devon we ran a three session course in summer 2019, drawing on research based guidance from Climate Outreach

It is likely that we will run an updated version of this in 2020. Get in touch if you are interested in participating, or would like to adapt the approach to use elsewhere.

Climate Matters and EU Referendum

We held a public meeting with a guest  expert on environmental law to explore the issues prior to the referendum, on 7th June 2016. Find out more here

Climate Matters – Key Themes

Two dozen people came together to join a discussion event on 30th January 2016. We all had diverse backgrounds and a range of knowledge of climate change and involvement in tackling it. Importantly we all see it as a vital issue which is relevant to Tavistock.
A rich mix of ideas for learning, influencing and acting locally emerged from open space style discussion. Detailed notes have been sent to those who came.

Key themes which emerged were:
A range of local organisations acknowledge climate change as a risk to their work, and have some commitment to tackling it. These include public bodies, businesses, charities and interest groups. Transition Tavistock is recognised as having a key role.

More “connecting up” of different organisations, and individuals who care but are not part of a group, is desirable, for mutual encouragement and to share ideas, but without formality or a new structure.

More public awareness of climate change is vital to support the changes needed, but should be through inspiration and empowerment. People accept that climate change is happening but it seems unreal, and there is a prevalent myth of continual growth.
Topical events such as flooding provide opportunities for conversation and sharing information, personally and via media. Links to everyday choices such as food, energy and transport help people see what they can do.

While there is information on the media or internet for those who look for it, more could be done to interest & inform, both by public bodies (schools, councils etc), and through events run by TT or some of the groups above. Local events to provide a focus could include showing films, talks (eg in Wharf programme) Practical projects such as Tasty Tavy engage in a creative way.

Influencing decision makers (MP, councillors, international negotiations) is important. There is a range of campaigns run by charities, pressure groups and political parties, and people will make their own choice of what to support. All of them benefit from visible public recognition that the issue is important and that alternative futures are possible.
There are many encouraging examples around the country of action to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and model alternative ways of getting energy, food etc. The Transition Network signposts many, and there are also national movements within eg churches.

Next steps agreed were to collect information from participants about how they might be involved in future, circulate the meeting notes, and consider setting up a local communication channel (eg Facebook).

Meanwhile all participants who were willing have been added to this Transition Tavistock newsletter which signposts many local events and opportunities.

If you’d like to know more about Climate Matters and the EU Referendum join our event on Tues 7th June. More details here.

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  1. Pingback: We’re talking about the Devon Carbon Plan | Transition Tavistock

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